Meeting Previews: School Funding, In-Person Review

by | Sep 27, 2020

The Town Council and School Committee are both holding virtual meetings Tuesday night. The Town Council usually meets Monday nights but because Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day, falls on Monday this year, their meeting was pushed to Tuesday. Meanwhile, the School Committee decided to add a Sept. 28 meeting to be able to discuss how in-person learning was going and make some plans for school beyond Oct. 2, which is as far as Supt. Alexis Meyer had previously  laid out. 

Both panels will be discussing a proposed Town Council resolution that would allow the Town Council to give additional money to the school district this year without that counting toward the town’s “maintenance of effort” to the schools in next year’s budget.

By state law, whatever the town gives schools in a given year must be the basis for what it gives the schools the following year – that’s the maintenance of effort. The council approved an increase of 2.98 percent in the school budget in June for fiscal year 2021. If federal and state aid fall short because of the COVID-19 emergency – and at this point that’s a very real possibility – the town would “meet its moral and legal obligation to guarantee that all students receive an adequate, equitable and meaningful education,” reads the draft resolution (TC Emergency Resolution Re Maintenance of Effort).

Also on the Town Council’s agenda, the panel will vote on extensions of parking and liquor service exemptions relating to the COVID-19 emergency and the town’s decision to allow downtown restaurants to utilize additional outdoor space for increased service area, through May 31, 2021. In addition, the council will consider changes to the ordinance controlling industrial wastewater discharges and changes to the sewer ordinance.

Find the agenda HERE, including the Zoom link to join the virtual meeting as well as links to agenda item backup materials.

The School Committee will hear from Supt. Meyer about the resumption of school – students have been back in school or doing distance learning or a combination of both for two weeks. Meyer will report out results of a staff and parent survey about school reopening and offer additional updates as recommendations.

Meyer will also be recognizing three recent district retirees: Colleen Osmanski, who taught Grade 5 at Hanaford; Lore Gray, a Special Education teacher at Meadowbrook; and social worker Nina Mackta, who led the district’s mentoring program for many years.

Find the School Committee agenda HERE.

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